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West Division police take part in County Lines crackdown

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Lancashire Police’s West Division have gained impressive results after taking part in the national County Lines Intensification Week.

West Division, which covers the areas of Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster and Morecambe, took part in a range of both targeted and preventative activity to raise awareness and prevent the dangers of County Lines.

County Lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line’. County Lines gangs are highly associated with violence, drug dealing and exploitation, having a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults, and local communities.

The following was carried out over the week;

-          17x Section 23 searches

-          4x drugs warrants

-          8x arrests

-          Numerous drugs seized such as crack cocaine and heroin

-          Over £3,000 cash seized

-          4x weapons seized

-          Disruption visits to hotspot locations

Alongside this disruptive activity, preventative and protective activity involved:

-          81x cuckooed addresses visited

-          A joint operation with British Transport Police at Blackpool North train station, using a knife arch and drugs dog

-          9x hotels attended to raise awareness of child exploitation

-          7x multi agency visits between police and social care

-          7x multi agency visits with the exploitation team

-          5x school visits talking to young people about the dangers of county lines and gangs

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Riley said: “This week’s activity is just a snapshot of the work we do across West Division every day to disrupt organised crime gangs.

“These gangs’ prey on the vulnerable, including children, and exploit them at will, often leaving their victims with devastating long-term consequences”.

“These arrests are a message to those who consider engaging in these activities in Lancashire. We will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible and remove them from our streets.”

Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said: "Tackling county lines and cross border criminals is a key part of my Fighting Crime Plan, with Op Warrior dismantling organised crime gangs that often operate across county borders.

"Since launching Op Warrior, the number of raids, arrests and drug seizures speak for themselves. We have been stepping up the pressure on those who destroy lives and damage communities, and we won't stop making Lancashire a hostile place for offenders, wherever they are from.

"Organised crime gangs bring fear, violence, drugs and exploitation into Lancashire, and with county lines it's even more important to utilise the relationships we have with partners such as the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, National Crime Agency and other police forces, to keep people safe and ensure offenders have their day in court.

"I want to thank Lancashire residents for their continued support, and I hope that seeing these results encourages them to continue to report suspicious activity, either directly to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers." 

For more information and how to spot the signs of exploitation, visit County Lines - Spot The Signs | Eyes Open (

If you believe that someone may be involved in County Lines or other drugs activity, you can report it to us by calling 101. Alternatively, you can report it via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report your concerns anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk-org. If you think someone is in immediate danger, call 999.